Jan 24, 2007 4:20am
Re: Morning Question/Poll
Great question S.D.H.
Let me dust off the cranium... musta been four, mabey six months ago that I found this site. On a whim, I decided to try to find my first show on the internet sites I had heard existed here. Mind you I did'nt know the date (tix stubs in storage), but I knew it was Irvine, CA mid 80's. After some scratching and crowing I found 4-17-87. Looking at the set list, I knew it was the show. From the set list I was able to piece more of that fateful evening together.
Here's a long story. If your not in the mood for it use the little arrow usually found on the bottom right side of your keyboard.
Bad grammar, but it's late 3:30 & I gotta sleep. I was 17. I hgad just moved from Juneau, Alaska to Passadena CA. I was going to this little high school (Southwestern Academy-"Bending Twigs Since 18...") to get back on track. At spring break, all the students were going on this ski trip. Having started mid-semester, I couldn't go. I had heard about this band from my friend Jenny J. (thanks Jen), the Grateful Dead. I'd seen the name on some school folders or something, but never heard a note (juicy). So I found a ticket from some ticket agency, and then I had something to do for spring break.
The day comes, and my mother and I drive about 2.5 hours down to Irvine. We had agreed that she would pick me up after the show; she'd be "out front". Now some of you might not know this but the shows had a larger parking lot than your average concert, and a little different scene. So I used to like to chew these little pieces of paper; it seemed they brought excitement to even a dull occasion. In my life i'd eaten mabey 4-5 pieces (stale ones that made it all the way to AK. So, after my ma dropped me off, I experienced the lot (most of us have a first time at this). Art, strange musical sounds, odd food, strange wonderful people, smells-good and bad. People were using words I was not familiar with: "I need a miracle, veggie buritos, doses, wanna buy a lincoln etc. Finally, someone felt my vibe and spoke words I recognized. The paper was cute with little pictures. I ate a piece, and continued walking. After what seemed like a bit of time, I felt that the paper was not an effective chew. I found some more-larger pieces with differant pictures that the first ones. I ate one of those. I walked for a little bit longer, still nothing. I decided to give up on that. There's this herbal stuff I love to smoke-great flavor. I saw this thin guy with a long beard and hair. He looked thirsty, and he was holding this bag of that herb up to the sun as if it were the glass of water he was going to enjoy. We caught eyes. I spoke: "Are you getting rid of that?" after discussion and transacting, his friend had a convenient pipe loaded. So I took a draw (one). Suddenly the flavorful herb awakened both papers I had inbibed. To say the least, a sense of urgency set upon me. I escaped to the amphitheatre side of the lot. Time passes, intensity increased, then I say a parade of people in the distance entering the show. Oh shit. I decided I could do it, so I set out... Wrong side of fence-go back and around, crowds, thirsty, oh yea- will call. My ticket was at will-call. I don't remember that part much (P.T.S.D.?)
I could hear this rumbling tumbling BASS sound as I walked the path to the amph. The show was beginning-hurry. Inside the theatre, an usher led me to my seat while Cold rain and snow melted like a thick chocolaty syrup on, in and through me. I was seated next to this jolly round couple, just smiling and dancing away. When they saw me they must have known more than I could have guessed. "Hi! Is this your first show?" "Oh, ya... This is amazing", could have been our words. I had never heard anything like it. Wonderful sounds, was there more than one singer, are they wearing neon? At one point, to my right I saw this guy chaining his kid to a hand rail. As I pondered why he would do this, the kid broke through the plastic chains, and the guy laughed. Boy, so did I. Then they were done playing; I was sad. But everyone stayed there talking, smoking, eating and laughing. HEAVEN! There were gorgeous girls in exotic costumes. I was 17, full of hormones (guess I still am). I asked someone when does every one leave. He looked confused "after the show", he said. Then he saw something about me (pupils) and explained that there were two sets in each show, and the second set was still to come. DELUXE! I remember feeling The Wheel rolling over me as the words were sung. Literally the words "The wheel is turning..." rolled right out over us. WOW! Mighty Quinn encore- gotta tell my mom (we had a cat named Quimmer- that's what happens when you live in Alaska- Quim the eskimo?) So this beautiful show ends, and I'm just another fish in this river of people (a very high fish). I hear an undecipherable murmur, I did hear someone ask: "any one got any loose joints", at a slight downslope another said: "I almost fell down this hill", to which another replied: "well, that's better than falling up the hill" My tears of laughter!
Oh God! My mom! We're supposed to meet "in the parking lot". Well, I'll start looking. Perhaps I'll find her by morning (pre-cell phone era). So, I walking out the gate to the parking lot. There was this big line of limousines. In the middle of them was Ma in our nineteen-eighty-something GrandAm. I guess she had told each person who stopped her that she was here to pick up her son. They thought her son must have been a Rock-Med situation, and sent her there to the limos to pick up her ailing son. Boy I was not ailing. I was higher, just HIGHER. So She got about 2.5 hours of me raving about the incredible show. Totally oblivious to my vivid descriptions, hallucinatory distractions, and just highness. (Early 90's she went to her first show with me. "These people are so nice and polite".)
So, I promoted the Dead to my classmates after the break. We actually took a school trip to a show later that year (school van and all).
100+ shows and many miles later I found my lost first show on this, another miracle of existance, The Internet Archive. And even though the shows are gone, new Deadheads are still evolving thanks to this site.
Sorry to be so wordy, 4:48 a.m., nighty night. I love us all.
Ken Z. Buzzard